A Listening Spirit
Jesus heals the deaf man. The first sounds the man heard were the cries of those demanding reasons. Who has the authority to drive out demons? Surely Jesus must be a demon too. Faced with doubts, Jesus did not slip into silence. Use your senses, he told his critics. What do you see? Would a friend of demons heal a damaged body? Jesus reached out to his accusers. But twisted thinking can be hard to mend.
Jeremiah’s voice did not carry over the clamor for idols and war that possessed the people. Why return to God when they could seize power under a king of their own? But God’s word did not vanish like the faith of stiff-necked people. We forget but God does not forget us. When Jerusalem lay in ruins and its people forced into exile, Jeremiah and his words were remembered.
We are a vulnerable and resilient people; there is much we do not grasp. Demons helped our ancestors make sense of the afflictions that brought them low. Now the demons’ service seems at an end. Myths are put to rout as science uncovers the secrets of nature one by one. Sickness has its causes and so does healing. Our achievements are great and sometimes we are blinded by our light. Often the only voice we hear is our own.
Perhaps demons of a sort still move among us. Certainly we come up against powers that invade and possess us. There are spirits of mistrust that splinter our communities. There is arrogance that leaves those in power unmoved by human cries. There is the emptiness that spreads outward from our dedication to making ever more money. There is forgetting the poor, so we forget where true beauty lies.
We are not abandoned to emptiness and divisions. God doesn’t forget us. When our house grows quiet, healing words are spoken still.
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